On the phone, beloved dog at my side (always), 1990.
College apartment - cookie dough after dance rehearsal, 1994.
This is not me. This is an echidna I saw in Australia. Echidnas are the coolest.
Getting married in my parents' back yard, 2002.
50 Random facts about me:
I can’t sit still unless I’m wiggling or shaking one of my feet. It tends to drive people around me crazy.
I name my cars and bikes.
I do not like horror movies, but I do like The Walking Dead.
I’m not a big fan of the beach. Ocean, yes. Beach, not so much. Yes, I know it’s weird--everyone is supposed to LOVE the beach. (Weirdo.)
I did not like The Catcher in the Rye. As a YA novelist, it’s almost a requirement to love that book. But I didn’t respond to it when I first read it, and I still don’t like it. I also did not like Lord of the Flies. I think high school English classes focus on too many dated books by old white guys.
Wish list: teleportation (no more long flights or car rides); personal masseuse; live six months of each year in Australia; a magic ‘everything is free’ card at the home improvement/hardware/garden store.
I was 34 years old the first time I went camping.
I learned how to ride a motorcycle when I was eight years old.
I bake cakes from scratch. I *may* or *may not* have added a cup of coffee grounds to a Mocha Chocolate Cake recipe calling for "one cup strong coffee, at room temperature." Oops.
High school prom gown: a navy blue, knee-length, poufy ‘Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock’ dress. I still have it. I wore it for my 40th birthday, for which I threw a rocking 80's dance party.
I raced BMX (bicycle moto cross) when I was a kid.
I LOVE dance: ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, tap ... and just plain old taking you down to funky town.
I’ve been skydiving. Loved it. Never want to do it again, thanks.
Along with being a writer, I wanted to be a detective when I was a kid.
I was born in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
I lived in the same house from preschool through high school graduation. My backyard, and the creek that bordered it, was magic ground.
I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.
In high school, during my teen angst years, I worked at an arts program for elementary kids and did lots of babysitting. Being with little kids, getting away from the drama of teenagers, kept me grounded.
I loved college. Loved. College. (Binghamton University will always be SUNY-B to me.)
I exercise an hour every day, and I think everyone who is able should, too.
In my twenties, I worked at a cool place called The Learning Web, hooking teenagers up with apprenticeships and volunteer community service projects.
Some of my favorite foods are watermelon, cookie dough, arugula, and ice cream.
I take my coffee with milk, no sugar.
Favorite places: Australian outback, Rome, Tasmania, San Francisco, Nova Scotia, Ithaca, Durham, Montreal.
I met my husband in college. We were friends for six years before we got together, and together four years before we married.
I listen to podcasts and audiobooks more than I listen to music.
I went to graduate school at Harvard.
I'm a pretty good alpine skier but I still haven't learned to snowboard. (Lame, I know.)
Once a week, my family hosts dinner for a group of friends. It's an insane number of kids and grown-ups for our small house, but it's our favorite night of the week.
I believe everyone has at least one gift they’re here to give to the world. It just takes some of us longer than others to figure out what it is.
I got married in the backyard of my childhood home (there's a photo around here somewhere).
^ I wore my mother’s wedding gown. ^
Blue jeans always have been, are, and always will be my wardrobe staple.
My home is filled with art from around the world and, mostly, made by my son, me, my husband, and my friends.
I’ve voted in every election since I turned 18.
When I was little, I had a lending library on my front porch. Now I have a Little Free Library in my front yard.
Eric Carle, who wrote The Very Hungry Caterpillar, visited my school in kindergarten. And that's when I decided I wanted to be an author.
I love playing board games. My current favorite is Carcassone.
I collect quotes and hang them all over my house.
My elementary school librarian, Ms. Esther Thornton, was the best. She encouraged to me to write my own books, and would edit them with me. When they met her standards, she would laminate those suckers, and catalog them, and shelve my books with the ‘real’ books.
My artistic goal is to create more than I consume. Every single day. Even just a little bit.
My favorite animal is the echidna.
I taught preschool for awhile, during college and after graduation.
I am a dog person. I am not a cat person.
I love treasure-hunting at thrift stores, whether or not I'm there to buy anything.
I have a lot of faith in the goodness of the universe, but I don’t give any credence to astrology.
I read an average of two books a week.
In solidarity with the world outside the U.S., and to reduce my carbon footprint, I use an old-fashioned clothesline instead of a dryer. Mostly.
"Screen-Free Sunday Family Fun Day"! Every week, everyone in our house unplugs.
Having been told so numerous times by teachers and parents, I still kind of believe that if you cross your eyes too long, they’ll get stuck that way.
BONUS! Writing this list, and thinking 'bout it... a couple of constants in my life: Bikes. Dance. Dogs. Good friends. Education. Exploring. Good books. Writing.
J.J. Johnson, author of young adult novels -- official website